The 1950s was a decisive turning point in Puerto Rican history: Puerto Rico’s political ties to the United States were “formalized” as Puerto Rico became the Estado Libre Asociado (or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Under this new juridical form, the island was allowed to draft its own constitution, which was later accepted by a referendum in Puerto Rico and by the U.S. Congress. On July 25, 1952, a solemn ceremony was held in San Juan, as Governor Luis Muñoz Marín raised Puerto Rico’s flag next to the Stars and Stripes to inaugurate the new form of government. This was an important factor for Puerto Rican pride because, between 1898 and 1952, it was a felony to display the Puerto Rican flag.
Puerto Rico could also now create a patriotic anthem like most modern nations. The name of the official anthem is “La Borinqueña”, a song with a history of resistance written in 1903. It was adopted as an official anthem in 1952,but the lyrics were considered to be too radical and subversive. Therefore, a new set of lyrics was written and finally accepted in 1977.
1) Cf. Galván, Javier A. Culture and Customs of Puerto Rico. Culture and Customs of Latin America and the Caribbean. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2009, p. 13
2) Cf. Whalen, Carmen Teresa. From Puerto Rico to Philadelphia. Puerto Rican workers and postwar economies. Temple University Press, 2001, pp. 9-10
3) Cf. Wagenheim, Kal. Puerto Rico: a Profile. 2nd ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975, p. 80
La Borinqueña by Mayda Belén and Quique Domenech.